Boracay Island – One of Our First Trips Together

Photo by Wabi Jayme on Unsplash

Portrait of our little family
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We’ve always wanted to see Boracay island because every person we know who’s gone there only has good things to say. When Cebu Pacific Air had a seat sale, we didn’t miss the opportunity to go see it with our own eyes. That time, the seat sale was no rip-off, no hidden charges, no whatsoever.

Prepping for the trip

Then, we planned our itinerary, read online and gathered some good recommendations, and saved a lot of moolah. We bought a lot of stuff that we could use there such as board shorts, rash guard, all the beach essentials. We were living like “kat-kats”, a lingo for social climbers, not to show off to everyone what we have, but to not look awkward in a sea of original apparels. It will be a different story if it was in Mactan, I tell you.

Obstacles along the way

Our relationship was still very young then, we weren’t married that long. After we visited Sampaguita Gardens, we had a misunderstanding, I think it was about the choice of taking the bus or the van going to the port. We took the van, because that’s where we were taken by the tricycle driver, and had to wait for hours (which seemed like forever when your partner is not talking to you and you feel like there are knives on your back) before the van headed for the port. It was then a struggle of rationalizing, blaming, or making up of what happened. To make things worse, because it was stormy when we reached Boracay. We had a tiny umbrella good for one, I was soaked but can I complain when your wife is mad?

A totally different place

Boracay island attracts a lot of visitors, locals and foreigners alike. Most local celebrities spend their free time here, you know, a lot closer to home but with the feels of being abroad. For foreigners, it’s a perfect combination of sea, sand, and sun. Boracay has too many people buzzing about, it’s a bit overwhelming. I am no witness to how it became so populated because it was already that crowded when we visited it, but there are photos and testimonies of the old Boracay circulating online. It is a far cry from the current face of the island, unexploited and serene.

Why We Love Boracay

  • A mix of people. There is a good thing about Boracay being overcrowded with tourists, being immersed in a lot of different cultures. It’s different when you get to see other’s viewpoint, you will imbibe a little of that view, and become a worldly person. You become more open.
  • It’s like being in a different country altogether. I thought we saw more foreigners than locals there, but that’s an exaggeration. English would be the main language there because there are just too many foreigners. Also, of course, we have a different dialect to the locals; we could get a gist of what they’re saying but responding would be in Tagalog. And we’re very awkward in speaking Tagalog.
  • Witness a lovely sunset. One of the magics of the island. The number of people by the beach around this time does not affect the beauty of the setting sun.   
  • There is food everywhere. We love to eat and there is a huge selection of food in Boracay island. I think there is a type of food to every tourist in the island. We love the calamansi muffins and Jonah’s smoothies. Before going home, we bought another for the road.

Boracay island is temporarily off limits

Our Boracay trip was years ago but we’d love to go back there anytime. We can’t do it this year because we’d need to save a lot for a holiday for the whole family, also because the island will be closed for 6 months starting 26th April, after a presidential decree to rehabilitate the island.  Read more about it here Boracay: Philippines Closes Popular Tourist Island for Rehabilitation.

Rehab is for the good

I think it’s a bold move from the government to close the island to visitors for rehabilitation, but definitely a good action. The byproducts of overpopulation have gone out of control – Boracay island has now been tagged a cesspool. When tourists search the island online and this is the first thing they see, the country is sure to lose that customer. It’s good to lose a bit of income now than lose the entire island altogether. If I am a foreign tourist, I think I would be keen to visit Boracay later when I know that something has been done to keep it clean.

Tourists should visit the other islands of the Philippines

There are more than a thousand islands in the Philippines that tourists can visit. Some of these islands are going through rehabilitation too, but there is still a lot more that are equally wonderful as Boracay. There is no actual loss to the economy here. A detour to another tourist spot will be enough to satisfy the craving for the sand and beach, case in point, Palawan. When the recuperating is over, tourists will be treated to an entirely different but still beautiful Boracay.

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